Open Supreme Court Justice Seat Creates Controversy in the White House

Late Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia, has created a vacant seat in the court  leading to controversy in the White House.

Late Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia, has created a vacant seat in the court leading to controversy in the White House.

Melanie Shor, News Editor

As the White House scrambles to find someone to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, tensions are rising as the nation is divided on what nominee will fill the vacant seat.

After the sudden heart attack and death of Scalia at the age of 79, a new position has opened up in the Senate with many politicians having a wide range of opinions on who should occupy the spot.

Originally, President Barack Obama signed an executive order nominating the Republican senator Rashad Hussain; however, this candidate received some very harsh criticisms, most notably from Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump.

“Hussain is a Muslim and a sympathizer, just like Obama, and now he takes over the legacy the great Antonin Scalia left behind. The President should be ashamed of himself,” stated Trump in an ABC News Interview.

On the contrary, Obama believes that appointing Hussain was a necessary action that needed to be taken. He told reporters, “We cannot wait for a new President or the Senate Republicans to fill this vacancy left by Scalia, so I have taken it upon myself to do what needed to be done.”

Since this first nominee received so much disapproval, there are six other federal judges that the White House is considering. These potential justices include Jane Kelly, Ketanji Jackson, Merrick Garland, Patricia Millett, Paul Watford, and Sri Srinivasan.

According to a CNN poll, most Americans want to see someone fill the empty seat on the Supreme Court before the end of Obama’s term. If the position still remains open after the new president is sworn in, then it will be the longest time the United States has been without a complete Supreme Court.  In addition, one of the jobs as president is to choose justices for the Supreme Court when the need arises.

However, the Republican, or GOP, senators have made it clear that they refuse to approve any nominee that the current president proposes. They wrote a vow declaring that they would not hold any confirmation hearings and would do everything possible to prevent the president from tilting the ideological balance of the court.

GOP Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky even stated, “This nomination will be determined by whoever wins the presidency in the polls. I agree with the Judiciary Committee’s recommendation that we not have hearings. In short, there will not be action taken.”

As the days of Obama’s presidency are coming to a close, he has a major task at hand to attempt to place a new Supreme Court justice in the Senate before his term ends, despite efforts by the GOP senators to prevent any of his nominations from becoming appointed.